Last week my friend John Mauldin, chairman of Mauldin Economics, released a special Brexit edition of his popular investments newsletter "Outside the Box." In it, he shared a post written by geopolitical strategist George Friedman that describes a recent meeting among six foreign ministers representing the European Union’s founding member states: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The topic of discussion was the possible causes and implications of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
What George finds extraordinary is that, in their follow-up statement, the ministers appear to capitulate, admitting they “recognize different levels of ambition amongst Member States when it comes to the project of European integration.”
As George puts it, this is their way of acknowledging—finally?—the impossible task of enforcing uniformity across the European continent, home to many different peoples and cultures, all with different goals and aspirations.
If nothing else, this alone should be seen as a positive consequence of Brexit. It’s too early to tell what direction the EU will take post-Brexit, or whether any material policy changes will be made, but it seems as if the cries of resentment and frustration that have risen up from England and Wales (and, to a lesser extent, Scotland and Northern Ireland) have not fallen on deaf ears.
This is precisely what I’ve been writing about the last few weeks. If you’ve been following the mainstream media’s coverage of Brexit, you might think it’s little more than a reactionary, anti-immigrant groundswell. Don’t get me wrong—immigration is certainly part of it. Trying to integrate 50,000 people a year into the country’s national health care and school system has pushed the bandwidth of the British economy.
But the UK’s grievances—some of which I discussed in previous commentaries—are much more varied than that. And following the historic referendum, EU bureaucrats seem to be taking the gripes seriously, which we can count as a win not just for the UK but other member states as well.
Here are four more winners to have emerged from Brexit.